If we reject this cross, we will not find it in this world again. Here is the opportunity offered. Be patient. Wait on the Lord for whatever He appoints, wait quietly, wait trustingly. He holds every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year in His hands. Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for He is already there. "Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup. (Psalm 16:5)" Shall we not gladly say, "I’ll take it, Lord! I’ll trust You for everything. Bless the Lord, O my soul!"
From a psychological standpoint I would think that people who are highly sensitive and have more vivid imaginations suffer more than others. I remember lying awake at night imagining the things that would happen to my second husband after we learned of his cancer. These thoughts were in themselves a point of suffering. I think that's what Jesus was getting at when he said, "Take no thought for tomorrow." He was not saying it's wrong to plan. He was saying, "Do not assume the burdens of tomorrow." But that is a continual temptation for some of us whose imaginations work overtime.
We can see this rhythm most dramatically in nature. The apple seed produces the tree which then produces leaves. When the leaves fall off there's death, then in the spring there's life. But those beautiful blossoms have to fall to the ground—to die—or no fruit will be produced. The fruit has to rot in order for the seed to be released which must fall to the ground to make the tree. Then the cycle begins all over again.
SA: That's a very intriguing thought. What about those Christians who must deal with a great deal of pain? How can they prevent themselves from seeing God as an ogre?
SA: You have said that Christianity is the only religion that deals with suffering.
Christianity deals head-on with suffering because Christ Himself suffered. This symbol of our faith is a symbol of suffering.
When someone tells me a story about someone's horrible suffering and asks what to do, I can only say what I say all the time. God is there. He has a loving purpose. He will turn it into joy if you offer it to Him.
When my husband, Lars, and I left the television studio after we recorded my lectures, he told me some things I had done wrong. I was just devastated by that. He's the one person in the world that I want to encourage me. My instant, normal, human reaction is to say, "You get up there and do it!" I didn't say it, but I did think it! God always puts His finger on that sore place in my life, that place of need. I can't get up there and pop off to somebody else and say, "Offer your feelings to God," and then go home in a seething stew of resentment about my husband and not offer that to God. He says to me, "OK, you dish that out to those people—how about doing it yourself right now?" I couldn't get to sleep until 2 o'clock the following morning. My only reservoir of strength is Christ. I must continually come to Him for help.
People sometimes ask me, "How did you get rid of your feelings?" I tell them I didn't get rid of them. I offer them to God, and I have to offer them again, and again, and again.
A: Is God's love sufficient?
SA: Why did he say that?
http://www.sharonjanderson.com/articles/elliot.html "There's No Coming To Life Without Pain" An interview with Elisabeth Elliot by Sharon J. Anderson
If you're still here, you can see why God could use this saint to prepare me for some most trying years. In the darkest moments I would remember hearing this beautiful woman calmly speak of hearing of the cannibal tribe killing (and worse) her husband as she held their baby girl. Reporters asked her what she did in those moments after hearing of his death. She said she was reared to always "Do the Next Thing..." in a crisis. "The next thing" was whatever was next on your duty list before hearing of the crisis. She said there were needs on that mission field that she had responsibility to attend to and she immediately got on to "her next thing" on her task list.